Highlights from our Show Up North Conference
What are the first steps one can take to engage in politics? How can one be a faithful Christian at the highest level of politics? What does it look like to disagree well?
These and many more questions were addressed at our Show Up North conference, where Christians from across the political spectrum came together to pray, build new relationships and discuss how to show up.
We are delighted to publish three of the talks from the day: we hope you find them challenging.
How one can take the first steps to become politically engaged was described in an inspiring talk by Councillor Tanya Burch. She told stories of how, by channelling her frustrations and anguish, she slowly became drawn into political action. Raised as an atheist in Ukraine, her testimony was a heartening reminder that nothing is impossible with God.
The struggles, joys and dilemnas of politics at the highest level were thoughtfully explored in an interview with Jonathan Reynolds MP. Mr Reynolds spoke engagingly about his own experience at the highest level of politics: what inspired him to get involved, how he deals with the huge pressures of the job, and in what way he conducts himself so as to disagree well with others.
There are many compelling reasons that Christians should engage in politics, but also several temptations to avoid. These were insightfully described in a hard hitting talk by Dr Dave Landrum. He affirmed the importance of prayerful reflection, caring support and wise counsel for faithful political action.
We are most grateful for the range of wonderful speakers who also contributed.
Jenny Sinclair, Director of Together for the Common Good, spoke wisely about our current political predicament and what the Trinity reveals to us about politics. She also challenged us to think imaginatively about the ways in which we can make alive the principles of the common good.
Former faith advisor to Barack Obama Michael Wear discussed the vexed issue of how, in the aftermath of the U.S election, one can disagree well. He underlined the importance of compassionate disagreement for all of us.
Finally Sue May spoke about how she started a local Christians in Politics group in her area and encouraged others to do so. Appearing across the country, these are encouraging signs of how God is at work in politics.
All in all, at a time of political uncertainty and instability, it was heartening to see so many people make the effort to Show Up. We hope that the online talks will continue to inspire.